About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

THE CHANGE OF STYLE OF PREACHING

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These posts are coming from my personal experiences and encounters. The adventures and the places and the people that I mention in these articles are from my personal experiences and they reflect my individual perspectives. They reflect my thinking at the time of the events. This is my pilgrimage. It is my journey. It’s an honest opinion, it is biased, it’s an effort to give a commentary on how events in my life precipitated my thinking about life and how to do ministry, how to preach and teach God’s Word, how to be a pastor or work on a church staff, and the ability to know how to learn the doctrines of God.
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"The preacher's God-given responsibility is to deliver accurately and effectively to his listeners what the Holy Spirit meantwhen He inspired the writters to pen Scriptures. Anything short of this is not expository preaching and falls short of fulfilling the divine mandate to "preach the Word" (2 Timothy 4:2. To communicate accurately and effectively is the most fulfilling service that a person can render to others."Robert L. Thomas

Why is it important to preach/teach in this manner.

Preaching, as I understood the procedure in those first years, changed dramatically. Preaching as a sixteen year old, certainly was not with any thought of what I really knew about the explanation of scripture. I definitely did not see any kind of theology within the sermon. But again I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I was preaching either. There are many preachers today who preach that identical way. So why would I presume I needed to change?


The purpose of this series of commentaries is to lay out the process that I have come though over the last 26 years of ministry. As I have said, the first twenty years were within the panoramas of ideas that I comprised. in my mind. But as I said, after going to the Shepherd’s Conference, My view of how I should preach the Word of God changed. And after reading Kaiser’s book, I knew that I could not do that in the manner that he was teaching.

What were some other convincing statements that caused me to believe I should preach this in this manner?

Puritan commentator William Gouge (1575-1653) said this about the duty of a minister:
"Ministers are to imitate God, and, to their endeavor, to instruct people in the mysteries of godliness, and to teach them what to believe and practice, and then to stir them up in act and deed, to do what they are instructed to do."
Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) added to Gouge remarks:
"It is among uninstructed flocks that the wolves of property make havoc; sound teaching is the best protection from the heresies which ravage right and left among us."
The Master’s Staff said this:
"To provide wholesome spiritual nourishment for God’s people from the Word."
John MacArthur’s review of preaching patterns said this:
"Specifically, evangelical preaching ought to reflect our conviction that God’s Word is infallible and inerrant. Too often it does not.. "
John Calvin said this about preaching:
Preaching is not only the explication of Scripture, it is also the application of Scripture. "Just as Calvin clarified Scripture word by word, so he applied the Scripture sentence by sentence to the life and experience of his congregation."

Here are a few things I understood about this expository preaching.

It’s the method of how you preach. Expository preaching focuses predominantly on the text or texts under consideration along with its context. This could be called, "contextual preaching."
Ex. Matthew 1:1-6, Ephesians 2:8-10 That is, rather then preaching on a topical thought, you make an explanation of the text. You are explaining the verses. You are setting forth its meaning, and explaining what is difficult to understand, and make appropriate application. And when you use the KJV, this process takes quite awhile.

You read a portion of Scripture to the audience, and then you actually develop a message that gives the meaning of that text. And what the text is instruction the audience to do, that is what you preaching. The sermon follows the flow of the passages of Scriptures

In other words, you start the sermon with the idea that you are going to explain the passages of Scripture that you are reading to the audience. Rather than having a sermon that you say what you want to say, and then try to put scripture with the sermon. This is both biblical and practical.

Whatever I say the Bible teaches, I am to used the Bible to establish it. Its not just rambling comments and off hand remarks about a passage, it’s a clear understanding



Charles E. Whisnant














REACTION TO EXPOSITORY PREACHING.

Our good friend Michele e mailed me back to say, "I don’t buy that at all." she didn’t believe I got all my messages from a tape. So there is some clarification I need to make on this point.

In those early days, I used MacArthur's method of developing a message. I did listen to John’s tapes. I used to think that you just got up on Sunday Morning and ask the Lord for a sermon, and between home and church the Holy Spirit gave you one. Really, ask any good non- expositional preacher. Ask my best pastor friend DeWayne Prossor. Kidding about DeWayne That is not biblical preaching though. Charity said, "Charles you never believed that, don't tell Michele that." True, of course, but that is what many preachers would like you to think that they just get a message from the Holy Spirit, without much studying.

So why did you change your style of ministry and method of preaching?

As early as 1974 when I listened to John MacArthur’s tape from Ephesians 4:11-16, the principles of the text were planted in my mind. And now having gone to the Shepherd’s Conference, and reading the Walter Kaiser’s book "Toward An Exegetical Theology." The time was right.

Another reason for converting styles was this nagging feeling that this was the best way of conveying what God was really saying in His word to His believers. The whole idea of preaching was to tell the people what the Bible was saying about being saved, and living according to God’s purpose. I was preaching what I believed the Bible was saying about being saved and living holy lives. The only problem was, too often what I was preaching was what I believed the Bible was saying. But too often the passage of Scripture that I used had little or nothing to do with what I was preaching.. I was using more illustrations from life than I was saying what God was saying. I would come up with a sermon I believed would be a help to the people, and then I would try to find a passage of scripture that would fit the sermon.

Here is what Walter Kaiser, Jr said, "The listener is often not sure whether the word of hope being proclaimed is precisely that same Biblical word which should be connected to the passage being read." That is, what was being preached doesn’t sound like what they were reading in the passage of Scriptures. Kaiser points out "every sermon which aspires to be at once both Biblical and practical; it must be derived from an honest exegesis of the text and it must constantly be kept close to the text.

MacArthur said "the goal is to have men of God to proclaim the Word of God effectively, so that nonbelievers can be evangelized and believers can be equipped to do the work of the ministry." John said, "The only authority that a preacher has in his preaching , is the authority of the Word of God." I always believed what I had been preaching for some twenty years was from the Word of God.

John R.W. Stott pointed out "now everybody has his own opinion and his own convictions, and considers them just as good as the preacher’s." (Between Two Worlds) He pointed out, "‘to preach’ has come to mean to give advice in an offensive, dull, meddlesome manner." Many of the people who are sitting in the pew are saying - silently if not aloud - "who does he think he is? My opinion is just as good as the preacher’s." And you know what? That is precisely right.

When I preached, it was my opinion about what I believed the Bible was saying about sin. Example: My children shouldn’t go to the High School Senior Prom. It was my opinion that Becky should not wear blue jeans, to church or anytime. That poor girl did not go to her Senior Prom, nor did she wear blue jeans until she was out of high school. (Becky gave her permission for me to tell on myself.) Now tell me, what chapter and verse did I find that opinion in?

I had a lot of opinions about how to be born again, how to live a Christian life, and I was good in expressing those opinions, which I really believed to be Biblical. The only problem I saw that I had, was I couldn’t always find the text to go along with the opinion. Thus it seemed to be my opinion rather than the Bible’s command.

Thus, from the time I began teaching the Bible in its context of Scripture, my purpose was to the best of my ability to keep my opinions to myself while I was preaching. I said I tried.

What was the reaction of the church toward expositional preaching?
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Our church’s associate pastor was very critical of the idea of studying extensively for a message. He was very faultfinding when I used notes from the pulpit. I preached from a full manuscript. He was a product of his training as well. Many church people believe a preacher should preach from his spirit and without notes, that is called "spirit anointed." I remember while in Seminary I was trying out to become pastor of a church. They found out I used notes and said, "we do not believe preachers should use notes."

So subsequently after six months in the Gospel of Matthew, Marvin thought the time had come that I leave the church and he had spoken to several members about that potentiality. I really believed we were going elsewhere the following week.

As all this dramatized out, the members of the church graciously were for us staying as Pastor. I think they did not want to lose Charity, but also I believe they were beginning to like hearing the teaching of the Word of God.

I explained to them why I was preaching from the Scriptures–why I was only trying to say what was in the text that was before them. I was trying to show them what the Word of God was saying, rather than what my opinion was. I think Michele, Allen and Toni, Beverly and Kay Alana and Christy and Mabel, Regina (to name a few who were there when I started to preach expositionally) really believed it. Thus we were able to preach the next Sunday. Amen..

Charles E. Whisnant
Charity F. Whisnant, proof reader
PREACHING THEOLOGICAL AND EXPOSITIONAL 2
These posts are coming from my personal experiences and encounters. The adventures and the places and the people that I mention in these articles are from my personal experiences and they reflect my individual perspectives. They reflect my thinking at the time of the events. This is my pilgrimage. It is my journey. It’s an honest opinion, it is biased, it’s an effort to give a commentary on how events in my life precipitated my thinking about life and how to do ministry, how to preach and teach God’s Word, how to be a pastor or work on a church staff, and the ability to know how to learn the doctrines of God.

How do you develop life’s perspectives? In the mid seventies, eating breakfast with Charles Tremendous Jones, he said this: "You are today what you have been becoming. You will be the same in five years as you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read." James Combs while at Hyles-Anderson College in class said, "The best way to learn is from those who have already learned them." While in Bible Baptist Seminary, Raymond Barber said, "The best way to learn is by the school of hard knocks." He also said upon asking him how he was able to preach a great sermon. "Charles, find a text and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a sermon."

I think I like James Combs’ advice the best.: "Learn from those who have gone before you and have learned already." And as a matter of fact, Charles "T" Jones is right and Raymond Barber is right, also.

Nonetheless, you do learn from those you give attention to. As a child I was a copy of my dad--what he did, his attitude toward others, how to do ministry, what he wore, how he acted --I tried. How he treated my mother is how I try to treat Charity. So far I haven’t had to change my views on marriage but about ten times. (That would be a post in itself) It’s like preaching, you could spin off on another subject other than the one you were on.

You know the old saying, "Watch out-- going to Bible College could almost ruin you." I set aside what I had learned from my dad and started absorbing what was taught in Bible College. I took notes in every class (BCWP i.e. before Corel WordPerfect) and typed on those old typewriters-- remember? I joined Dr. Wayne Martin’s church, and I took notes of every one of his sermons (still have them today). I could preach a rather good Wayne Martin sermon. Taking notes of sermons was my thing.

When the professors would say to buy these books, I did. I wanted to know what they knew and how they knew it. I wish today that I had had enough sense in those days to realize what was going to be necessary to become a good theologian and preacher and pastor. I was influenced by those who taught me, as it should be.

I had tried to become the kind of preacher and pastor as I had learned in Seminary. From 1969 to 1978 that was the model. Wayne Martin’s sermons and Earl K Oldham’s attitude, and Jerry Falwell’s church approach. Then I developed the Jack Hyles’ mentality from 1978-1983. By the way as a reference, I did learn a wealth of good doohickeys from all those who I had sat under. I have little regret-- the experience was part of God’s training for me. His grace is so magnificent.

Then we arrived at the Shepherd’s Conference in Sun Valley, California in 1983 and again in 1990. Ministry and the thirst for the knowledge of the Word of God changed forever. A whole new world of Bible opened up to me. I am still bathing in the wonderment, and amazing grace of God. I was in total shock for a week. I never heard such teaching as I heard in that conference.

As there are Jerry Falwell, haters, and Jack Hyles haters, I learned there are a lot of John MacArthur haters today. But in the last thirty years, having read most of MacArthur’s sermons, I am confortable with his points of view.

Now back to the delay at the Denver Airport in October 1983, reading Walter C. Kaiser, Jr ‘s. book "Toward An Exegetical Theology" Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching. Here is a statement by Kaiser: "Nowhere in the total curriculum of theological studies has the student been more deserted and left to his own devices than in bridging the yawning chasm between understanding the content of Scripture as it was given in the past, and proclaiming it with such relevance in the present as to produce faith, life and bona fide works." (pg 18)

]Piper would say I am sure, as he has preached the last " hundred years" in the book of Romans, preach the Biblical Words, but bring it passionately to light the glory of God, to today’s listeners. I have listened to John MacArthur for years and I have yet to get tired of how he is able to hold his listeners’ attention for fifty five minutes.

Kaiser, said this: "There is a loud call for preaching that is totally Biblical in that it is guided by God’s Word in its origins, production and proclamation."

Kaiser was rather upset with the Biblical and theological education. "We have tolerated various forms of mediocrity in preaching and exegesis for too long now."

Now we come to page 23 in Kaiser’s book....... I was devastated, humiliated overwhelmed, to name a few adjectives. After just 23 pages I was subdued. Never had I read anything like this.

Thus I was determined to come back to First Baptist Church, and begin a research on how I could become one of these Expository Preachers. So, I called Jack Hyles. Just kidding, folks.

In 1984 John MacArthur made a series of videos on "Expository Preaching" - seven video tapes. I bought them, listened to them, and made notes. I wonder if the manuscript of those tapes are on the web? 1984 was for me pre-Internet days.

The Shepherd’s Conference gave me a list of books that I should have for expository preaching. But, but.. they are not Baptist!

Out with Hyles and in with MacArthur. Oh my, that really created for me a lot of trouble with the brethren. "Charles, John MacArthur is not a Baptist."

I now must give up my secret at this point. There was no earthly way that I could preach in the manner that Kaiser explained, nor how John preached., nor John Stott, or Martin-Lloyd Jones. They were not Baptist to begin with.

But with fear and trepidation, (I got that word, Charity, on my own, thank you), uneasiness. I came back and prayed. I announced that I was going to begin preaching with a new procedure for me. I was going to stop preaching topical messages and start preaching/teaching from a book in the New Testament, verse by verse. Of course there was not a single member of the church had ever heard of that before.

So beginning in the fall of 1983 thru 1989 I preached over 250 messages from the book of Matthew. This oozed out very slowly, because I was still trying to learn how this process of preaching was done. This was pre- Internet days. So I was able to join MacArthur’s sermon tape club. There you have it. My secret is out. For the next sixteen years I was a member of the sermon tape club. I know what John MacArthur preached every Sunday for over fifteen years.

Over the next year, I had to buy the books that would help me teach the Word of God.

Kaiser said in 1980 "For a large segment of the Christian Church it is a truism to say that Biblical expositon has become a lost art in contemporary preaching." What would Kaiser say today?

How did First Baptist Church react to this new approach to preaching? Our associate pastor knew that I had become a heretic of sorts. One member thought that I had quit preaching altogether. One family quit the church because they said I had quit preaching the Gospel. One said I was no longer spiritual because now I was in my study for hours studying, and I was using notes which proved I was not spiri filled. Evangelist Bob Smith said, "Charles, if you would spend the time you spend studying out Soul Winning, you could build this church." Other preachers thought I had left the Baptist and joined the Ecumenical church.

You might wonder, did I survive after this change......... The next post.
Charles E. Whisnant
Charity Whisnant, truth-proof
view my profile at the end of this blogger:
PREACHING: THEOLOGICAL AND EXPOSITIONAL

"Our concerning truth is an invevitable expression of our concern with God. Not to care about truth is not to care about God." John Piper.

To know the truth about the Word of God has become a "passion" with me. A John Piper word. But the desire to know the truth about the Word, came by listening to John MacArthur. Learning the truth from these two men, I have been challenged. I have read and heard John MacArthur preach for over 26 years so I do know a little about what he teaches. As for Piper, it's been only in the last few years. MacArthur seems to have an authoratative manner of teaching the word, and Piper wants to teach the Word "passionately." Hmmm.


Let me get back to yesterday's post. "The importance of being "TRUTH-DRIVEN".

Having graduated from Seminary in 1969 I believed I was really ready to reach the World with the Gospel. Drawing upon all my knowledge and experience I started out in the ministry of preaching the Gospel in the local church. From 1970 to 1982 I had the privilege of working in several churches. In those years I was a rather good independent fundamental Baptist preacher.

The problem happened in 1983 when I traveled to Sun Valley, Calif. to attend the Shepherd's Conference, Grace Community Church, with John MacArthur and Staff. My thinking about preaching, ministry and the Bible changed for ever.

Returning back to Altoona, Kansas, my flight was delayed in the Denver Airport in Colorado. I bought a book at the Shepherd's Conference titled "Toward Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis For Preaching and Teachng" by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.

I read the entire book of 250 pages while delayed in the Denver Airport. I called Charity to tell her I was delayed in Denver, and to tell her I was very very mad. "Charity, I have just learned I do not know how to preach or how to really build a sermon from scratch."

At the Shepherd's Conference I was introducedto the idea of Expository Messages. What was that! That's not what I knew as fundamental Baptist preaching.

"I have preached my share of forgettable sermons. I know the agony of preparing a message and then having preached it, feeling that I knew naked nothing about the preaching art. " Haddon W. Robinson. I knew exactly what he was saying.

Fundamental Baptist Preaching as I had learned was nothing like exegetical preaching that was Biblical Truth Driven and Theologically Correct. Generally, I preached sermons that were ignorant of the content of the Scripture. (a general statement)

I did not understand that preaching was to be theologically correct, nor that it was necessary to preach from the text of Scripture. Preaching was to be different than teaching a Sunday School class. I could read Ironside, Spurgeon, Greene, DeHaan, and others' teaching. To me preaching was not to be theological, nor teaching the meaning of the text before me. It was to present the gospel to get someone saved.
(Footnote: I did not want to preach what was not bibical, of course)

Oh my, the more I read Kaiser's book, the more I was in crisis. I did not have the training, nor the tools to preach an expository sermon.

I was really embarrassed. I had been preaching a lot of "junk food." All kinds of artificial preservativess and all sorts of unnatural substitues. "But, but...", I said, "could Jack Hyles' sermons be "junk food?" After all, over 7,000 people hear him preach on Sunday. The sermons I preached sounded really good. I was loud, funny, entertaining, illustrated, sin-fighting, like any good Jack Hyles' Sermon.

Hyles Anderson College certainly did not teach expository preaching techniques. And you know that was the idea. Theologically correct preaching was not the purpose of preaching. The college is teaching the the same philosophy today.

Soul Winning, KJV, Separation, the Blood of Christ, the Second Coming. Topical sermons only. Hyles had 50 topical messages and put scriptures with them.

This is the norm today in many churches. Preaching is not to be teaching. Preaching is not to be theological. Preaching is to be light, clear, simple, and gospel in content.

I believed in those days, that to enter the pulpit with the power of the Holy Spirit was not necessarily in the content of the message, but in the form of how you preached the message.


I always had this nagging discontent with this style of preaching, but when you are taught this method from youth, and in Bible colleges you believe it's the biblical way to preach.

The Shepherd's Conference replaced the Sword of the Lord's Conferences, and the Southwide Bible Conferences, and the Pastor's School, and from 1983 the new process of preaching began.

In the next post I will address this process of changing my style of preaching.

Charles E. Whisnant

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING "TRUTH-DRIVEN

"Our concerning truth is an invevitable expression of our concern with God. If God exists then He is the measure of all things, and what He thinks about all things is the measure of what we should think. Not to care about truth is not to care about God. To love God passionately is to love truth passionately. Being God-centered in life means truth-driven in ministry. What is not true is not of God. What is false is anti-God. Indifference to the truth is indifference to the mind of God. Pretense is rebellion against reality and what makes reality is God. Our concern with truth is simply an echo of our concern with God." John Piper so well put it. Truth.

Fundamentalist, Evangelicals, Bible Believing Christians believe Truth about God, His Son Jesus Christ, and His Spirit, the Holy Spirit are found in the Written Word, we know as the Holy Bible.

You will not find a Baptist Preacher who will deny that the Bible is the very word of God. I grew up listening to J. Vernon McGee, and Oliver B. Greene. They both had this gift of teaching the Word of God, chapter by chapter. Oliver Greene would only use biblical illustrations to express the meaning of the text. To my ears in those early years of my life, they were teaching from the Bible the very word of God. What I was hearing was the explanation of the text. I really fell in love with reading the Bible. To know Jesus Christ, His Words, His Works, comes from the Bible. In our church, my dad would give teachers Harry R. Ironside's book on Hebrews to use as a guide in teaching the Book of Hebrews.

That was the purpose of going to Bible Baptist Seminary.

I wanted to know how to know what God was saying in the Bible. It's called "principles of biblical interpretation." I wanted the skill in understanding, interpreting, and applying the Bible as a preacher/teacher. I wanted to learn the techniques useful in understanding particular facets of the Bible. This process was called 123 Hermeneutics.

Before you can preach/teach you should know what God is saying about the subject. How did McGee know what Romans 1 was teaching? How did Ironside know the meaning of Hebrews. I had no clue. I could read his books. I loved reading, Spurgeon, Greene, McGee (pre-Seminary days).

I really did not know what I should know to understand the Bible. I did after all have a Scofield KJV Bible. While in Seminary I did buy "The New Analytical Bible" published by John A. Dickson.

Bible Baptist Seminary. The Seminary was a Bible and Baptist Seminary. In the three years I attended the Seminary, there was no question that the Bible was taught by some great professors. I was definitely taught what the professors believed the Bible was teaching. But I was never taught how they knew what the Bible was teaching. So I was in the same position after seminary. I didn't know how Spurgeon knew what he preached. I knew what these great men believed, but I wanted to know how they knew the truth of the Word of God.

Part Two later today......

Charles E. Whisnant August 27, 2006

fundamentalism.........20's to early 2000.....

The term "Fundamentalism"is a term that was not coined by Independent Baptists, or even a Baptist! (Now that was a real shock to my Baptist System.) Could the term include WBF, BBF, IBFI, GARB, how many other groups, Falwell’s, Hyle’s, Roberson’s, Bob Jones’s, etc. ?

LEARNING WHAT A FUNDAMENTALIST IS............ August 22, 2006 post.

In the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology by Elwell he makes this statement about Fundamentalism:

"A movement that arose in the United States during and immediately after the First World War in order to reaffirm orthodox Protestant Christianity and to defend it militantly against the challenges of liberal theology. "

. "The earliest phase involved articulating what was fundamental to Christianity and initiating an urgent battle to expel the enemies of orthodox Protestantism from the ranks of the churches in the 1920's."

I did not realize that it was the northern Presbyterian Church in 1910 that affirmed five essential doctrines regarded as under attack in the church. These were affirmed again in 1916 and 1923.
Elwell points out that on this same parallel track, "premillenarian Baptists and independents founded the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association in 1919, with William B. Riley as the prime mover." The premillennialists tended to replace the miracles with the resurrection and the second comming of Christ, or even premillenarian doctrine as the fifth fundamental.

In the Baptist Watchman-Examiner, the term was used by Curtis Laws, in the 1920's. Then the Baptist John Roach Staton called his newspaper "The Fundamentalist" in the 20's.

The Presbyterian scholar J. Gresham Machen disliked the word, and only hesitatingly accepted it to describe himself, because he said, "it sounded like a new religion and not the same historical Christianity that the church had always believed." Machen called this new idea in the churches "religious liberalism", but later he followed the more popular fashion of calling it "modernism."

The early 20's fundamentalists felt they could not regarded any one a Christian who denied the traditional formulations of the doctrines of Christianity and who would create modern, naturalistic statements of the doctrines.

It seemed that the issue was not only over the view of the identity of Christianity, but was also over a method of doing theology and a view of history. Fundamentalists believed that the way doctrines were contrived in an earlier time were true and that the modern attempts to reformulate them were bound to be false. This was in the 20's, and it seems that there continues to be this thought to reformulate the way scripture is viewed into the 21st Century. The idea the fundamentals were unchanging. Which still is the idea today, "keep the landmarkes."
Southern Baptists were the stronghold of the fundamentalists in the 20's , and a lot of new independent churches were spreading across the South and Midwest.

During the 30's and 40's new denominations were jumping up in order to carry on the true faith in purity. GARB, the PCA, BPC, and CBAA were formed in the 30's. They desired to represent true Christianity based on the literal interpretation of the Bible. Then here is what happened in these groups and here is where "separation" came into focus. These groups came to believe that in order to keep true Christianity pure, they must "separate" from any association with liberals and modernist views. So Fundamentalism was now bridged "with separation a separatist practice while preserving the fundamentals of the faith."

As I remember, my dad Everette Whisnant went to Wake Forest University, a Southern Baptist School in 1922-1925, and then later the Bible Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He started one of the first fundamental independent Baptist churches in Lynchburg and in Roanoke, (as I am told), but I don’t remember him as a "separatist" fundamentalist.

Elwell pointed out that in the 40-s 60's (the book was in its 4th edition in 1986), that the Fundamentalists and "Evangelicals" were the two camps took on a special meaning. While the Fundamentalists took on the personal morality issues of the day and separated themselves from the rest of society. And the other camp wanted to retain fellowship with the orthodox Protestants . And in the 40's this group called themselves "Evangelicals" Footnote: I used to say we are not Protestants we are Baptist.) Fundamentalists believed they were more "faithful to Bible-believing Christianity" and "more militant against church apostasy." But I can’t remember my dad like that. Bob Barber in Danville, Virginia, was more like that at the Baptist Tabernacle. He was great at fighting the evils of the day. IBF would opposed Billy Graham and would not read "Christianity Today." But as a true Funny they would not agree with each other as to what was truly Christian living.

Then in the 80's and I am sure today, the Fundamentalists, the likes of my friend still, Jerry Falwell, and the late Jack Hyles, and Pat Roberston, Lester Roloff, to name a few. This group of fundamentalists really believe they possess true knowledge of the fundamentals of the faith and that they therefore represent true Christianity based on the authority of a literally interpreted Bible. After all, they have the KJV 1611 Bible. I know Jack Hyles. I was in his church and school, and they certainly believed they were to represent Christianity to the world.

So that is where I got my fundamentalist attitude. Good grief. My father-in-law said "Charles you are not happy unless you are in a fight." I loved fighting something. It was my belief that I had a duty to fight Satan-- we are in a battlefield not a flower bed. You had better believe that the KJV was the very and only Word of God, and you better have Thursday Night Soul Winning Visitation, and you don’t go to movies or smoke Camels and you darn well better have a white shirt and tie on. Amen was in. Oh those Evangelicals just do not have it all together. Oh me. GROW BY LEARNING......

Today, I want to be an agreeable, friendly, pleasant, respectable, well-bred, harmonious, Fundamentalist. Maybe more like the 20's guys. I know I want to be more like my dad. "Oh you have got to be kidding!!!" say my colleagues and friends, and my wife, and father-in-law and my good friend pastor Dewayne Prosser.

While I like the "fundamentalist" tag, maybe we should have a prefix. Like "the pure compassionate-fundamentalist" or ½ Funny & ½ Evangelical. Generally I am pre- in my positions. But I am not pro-active when morality comes into view.

I had an associate pastor who said I had quit preaching. "Why would you say that, brother?" He said, "Charles, you have quit preaching on sin-- like long hair, short skirts, movies, playing cards, etc." A real fundamentalist knows how to leave them, knows how to whip them, knows how to give a good old-fashion, storm-stomping sermon. Lester Roloff, Gerald Fleming, Harold Sightler, and Bob Barber were very good at that. If you can’t come to church and get your shoes shined you haven’t been in church, right?

I have no plans to become a Presbyterians or join Schuller, or Osteen, or start a Covenant Reformed Church, but I would like to .....................


Proof Read and Truth Conscious Charity Whisnant
JEALOUSY HAS NO PLACE IN MINISTRY: PREACHERS

( Mistrust Suspicion Defensiveness Resentment)
I want to establish the underlying principle that using titles such as "Fundamental," "Baptist" "Independent" "Calvinist" "Reformed" "Covenant" "Dispensationalist" or even "Evangelical" have different meanings to different people, but in fact might not describe the individual anyway. Even when one says he is "Biblical". What preacher would say he is not "Biblical?"

{Historic Fundamentalism vs. Hysteric/Cultural Fundamentalism: I will address in the next post)

But for this post I want to address The Senior Pastor vs. Church Staff Minister:

For twenty- seven months I was the Youth Director of the Roanoke Baptist Temple, in Roanoke Virginia, where my father was the pastor. In those twenty-seven months, the pastor gave me liberty to be the Youth Director, and the ability to do ministry was such a great freedom. When my father died, we had seventy-five in our department that Sunday.

I believed this was the pattern for ministry in a church as a Youth Pastor. I had the impression that in my next position the ministry would be the same as in Roanoke Baptist Temple. I believed that my dad was the example who demonstrated the qualities of a pastor and one who I would be working for in a ministry.

I remember well, when I arrived at seminary, I mentioned to a senior student, "I am looking forward to working with pastors and then becoming a Youth Pastor. This senior student, was driving a car at the time, and he almost had a wreck. "Charles, what rock did you come out from under? Preachers are some of the most jealous people in the world."

I am not really sure what happened between my father’s generation and the present generation, but there certainly has been a change.

The time period was 1966, and that student was 100% right. The present time is 2006, let’s see... that is forty years later, and the same characteristic still exists today with preachers.
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JEALOUS Definition:
(1)Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position. (2)Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious: jealous of the success of others. (3) Inclined to suspect rivalry. (4) Having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension, or bitterness: jealous thoughts. (5) Vigilant in guarding something:
Summer of 1967: My mother who at this time was living in Danville, Virginia, and was working as Church Secretary of the Southall Baptist Church, told me "Charles if you work as Youth Pastor of Southall, and you are successful, the preacher will have you painting his houses he owns!" I thought that was the most eccentric idea. A Pastor resentful of a Youth Student, who is trying to work with youth in his church. The Pastor said, "Charles, I will hire you to be the Youth Pastor but do not tell anyone." The people were glad that they were going to have a Youth Pastor, I learned. I loved the time I was there. The success was wonderful, and sure enough, the Pastor had me painting one of his houses he owned. Mom was right. Having a successful youth ministry is not the grounds to dismiss a student who was nineteen years old. Jealousy is. Do you think a pastor would admit that? Of course not.

This happened in the summer of 1967, and you know I could give you an example in 1980, 1997 2002 and 2004. Call it by any other name, but the name will still be spelled "jealous." Why do you think, as a general rule, Senior Pastors hire someone who seems less qualified than himself?

Fundamentalist, Independents, Baptist, in any branch of fellowship, my pet peeve is the jealous preacher syndrome. As a general rule, these preachers have been taught: "Preachers are the ruler in the church, without accountablity to anyone but God, and total loyalty is to be with the Preacher." Dr. Hyles would start with the young kids. Each children’s class would have a picture of Dr. Hyles. And the teachers were to say, "This is God.!" No, not really, but almost. And you were never, I say never, to question Dr. Jack about his preaching, never, I say never. He totally controlled First Baptist Church for as long as he lived.

But even in churches where the pastor is not in total control, he controls the staff. In the last church I worked on staff, the outcome was just like the one in the summer of 1967, the Pastor was in my opinion, "Resentful or bitter in rivalry" My understanding, the Pastor asked the Deacons "Should I fire Charles, " and they said on three different occasions, "No, Pastor." But he finally did anyway. He finally said to one of the deacons, "Me and my wife, are going to fire Charles." And that was it. "Fundamental?" to the depth. "Baptist?" to the core. "Gospel preacher?" only as a fundamentalist would be.

But, you know what? You do not need to be a fundamentalist, or a Baptist to exhibit the same characteristic. It’s really not a Baptist syndrome. Many Pastors have this disease.

"Are you angry, Charles?" I am angry at the damage that some preachers have caused in the lives of their church staff. Far too many good men and women have been greatly incapacitated by the jealous actions of the Pastor. I hear about this more often than I wish to.

Fundamental preachers, Reformed Covenant preachers, no title preachers, it’s not your church. It’s not your people. God gave you to the church according to Ephesians 4:12 "for the building up of the body of Christ" and not to get jealous; resentful; distrustful with your church staff, but to build them up and help them be successful in doing their ministry. If Pastors have the privilege to work with someone who loves ministry, then let him work, let him be successful.

"Charles you are reverberating, ( 1. To resound in a succession of echoes; 2. To have a prolonged or continuing effect: Those talks with his teacher reverberated throughout his life. 3. To be repeatedly reflected, as sound waves, heat, or light.) or writing as if you are mad." You bet I am. Infuriated (not quite that bad) with some preachers, but not with the Lord. I still love the Lord and love ministry. I love His church.
Charles
Proof and Truth proofed by Charity Whisnant
GROW BY LEARNING.....FROM NORRIS TO MACARTHUR....


What J. Frank Norris was able to accomplish in the 30's was for that time and place. What Earl K. Oldham did at Calvary Baptist and Bible Baptist Seminary, was for his time and place. What Lee Roberson was able to accomplish at Tennasee Temple in his time was for his time and place. What Bob Jones, Sr, Jr, and III (is there a IV) have accomplished at Bob Jones U was for that time and place. What Jack Hyles was able to accomplish at FBC and Hyles Anderson, was for his time and place. What Jerry Falwell has been able to accomplish at TRBC and at Liberty U has been for this time and place. I could say this about any one servant of God. I mention these men above because they have had some impact upon our own ministry, framed my theological mindset and practice in doing ministry. Isn’t it interesting that these men are fundamentalists. They framed my understanding of what is a Biblical Baptist Fundamentalist. Charity would say, "Charles, who are you this month. Norris, Roberson, Hyles, or Falwell?’ "Funny, dear." But this was really true. I was very much influenced by these men in one way or the other. And stopping to think about it, this was not really all that unsatisfactory, you know!
I can say that from 1964 to 1982 was for that time and place that the Lord placed me, or allowed me to be in those churches and ministries. I believe there were some good results that the Lord was able to accomplish. I don’t know that I would be happy if those days were changed. Too many friendships with people Charity and I have come to love very much were established

Then I picked up a tape of John MacArthur’s on Ephesians 4:11-12, and it started a new process of thinking for me. Never had I heard preaching/teaching like this preacher. He was the first non-Baptist that I had allowed myself to listen to. Actually I had listened to this tape in 1972 while pastoring at Madison Baptist Church, and was overwhelmed by John’s point of view about ministry. However, it wasn’t until 1982 that I really had the chance to begin to understand the principles. While pastoring First Baptist Church in Altoona, Kansas, I decided to go to Grace Community Church to be in the Shepherd’s Conference in 1982. Ministry has never been the same since. I was exposed to another form of ministry that I had never seen before.

From Fundamentalist to Evangelical? From being a World Baptist Fellowship-Norris-Hyles- Falwell-Fundamentalist Preacher to an Evangelical-MacArthur teacher? Wild. Anything that was not Baptist was purely sinful to think about. As most likely my good friend Dr. Roy Johnson would agree with.

Of course, if you were not a Norris-ite, you were doomed in my circle. Hyles was not liked; Falwell was not liked; Roberson was not liked. You knew if you were to mention those boys you were doomed if you were wanting to preach in their fellowship meetings.

But after going to the Shepherd’s Conference in 1982, my entire belief system was changed.. Thank goodness I was not directed by the Lord to go to a Jimmy Swaggart conference, huh! I did once read one of Oral Robert’s books ...... I remember covering up the cover with a plain brown wrapper. I didn’t want to be found out. I could have ended up at Oral Roberts U. Wouldn’t that have been something! By the way the book was very good.

Talk about getting outside your comfort box... A whole new world of education was opened up to me following the Shepherd’s Conference. I must say, MacArthur was sure different from the Hyles Pastor’s School, or the Falwell’s Super Conference, or even the John R. Rice Sword of the Lord Conferences. Of course WBF folks would say that I should stay away from all of them. They were not only KJV 1611 only, they were WBF only. Sorry about that.

I spent a week in Sun Valley, California, and got a Bible stroke. I came back to Kansas and to FBC, and had to completely learn a whole new way of preaching. From Hyles one week to MacArthrur the next, from sermons that were topical, example:" Blackbirds, Balloons and the Bible" (that was a really good one, too) to sermons that were expositional. Really I went from preaching to teaching. Mrs. Dennision an old saint, saved in 1939 thought I had just plain lost my mind and had just quit preaching.

I had a library of over 3000 books, and now I had to completely put them in the Church Library and have Kurt Nunnenkamp make me wall-to-wall book shelves so I could start all over with the kind of books that I could study to even try to teach expositionally. I don’t think I had one technical book. (I did have a Scofield Bible.)

You know fundamental Bible KJV preachers don’t need books to preach, just the KJV, and the Sword of the Lord, and Hyles’s tapes will do, thank you very much. Really it’s true. Pastor Dwayne Prosser said it was true.

Thus for the next fourteen years (1982-1996) the members of First Baptist Church, had to sit each week to three full fifty five minutes of Historical, Theological, New Testament, Practical Application Messages, book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and word by word. And I think Allen Barnhart heard about all of them.

From Norris-Oldham-Hyles kind of Baptist Fundamentalism to MacArthur’s Philosophy of Ministry and Preaching. I’m still an Independent Baptist who is still learning to grow in the knowledge of the Lord.

Truth proof by Charity F. Whisnant








LEARNING WHAT A FUNDAMENTALIST WAS............

When most of what you know about the Bible and ministry is what you have learned from those who are independent, fundamental, and Baptist. you think alike and have the same characteristics. Those ideas that generally characterize IFB preachers--I can’t remember if my father ever mentioned those terms, or even exhibited them. I knew I was Baptist, but I don’t remember that dad ever preached like many of the preachers I listened to. I don’t remember dad preaching against everything under the sun either. . I really do not remember dad mentioning preachers at the dinner table, or that he ever spoke against any preacher or their preaching. He was definitely fundamental, and independent and Baptist. Growing up, in Roanoke, Virginia I never gave the terminology a second thought.

Never really understanding all that was happening in our church, I just knew that dad was a gracious, kind and wonderful preacher and pastor and dad and husband. He loved preachers. He loved preachers who were down and out. He never turned down the opportunity to help encourage a preacher. My dad Everette Whisnant set the example of what I thought an Independent Fundamental Baptist Preacher should be like. I had a shock ahead of me.

Dad wanted me to attend Bible Baptist Seminary so, six months after his death, I arrived in Arlington Texas with such great expectation and joy and wonderment. I couldn’t wait to see a group of students who loved the Lord, loved learning about the Bible and loved preaching and teaching. I couldn’t wait to learn how to preach and how to be a preacher and understand about the Word of God. I believed that this would be the most incredible place in the world to be and fulfill my desire to preach and pastor a church. The day that I arrived in Arlington Texas, sometime in the summer of August 1966, I believed I was ready to set the world on fire with the Gospel. But the world of Bible Baptist Seminary was not ready for me.!!!!!. But I genuinely was prepared to get into my first class. I wanted to absorb as much as I could about the Word. So I had my Scofield Bible notes and all. IFB seemed to have a Scofield Bible, (which I still have in storage). I was a Dispensationalist, and believed the Book of Revelation was yet future.

I don’t think I missed a class in three years. (I said I don’t think, after all it’s been forty years this month when I arrived in Arlington Texas.) I believe I turned in the largest notebook in the Life of Christ Class History, some three hundred and fifty typed pages, but you would have to talk to Dr. Raymond Barber who gave me a A+., if this is true.

The first set of books I ever bought was Spurgeons’ Topical Sermons, 18 Volumes, but to my knowledge Charles H. Spurgeon was never mentioned by the professors. But neither was John Calvin, Thomas Watson, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, Martin Luther, John Owen or any of the Reformers, unless you think J. Frank Norris was a Reformer.

I was so surprised how few of those students were really as excited about being in Seminary.as I was. I really loved campus life. I did not like the food, but I loved the surroundings. Dorm life was interesting, but I soon realized that the students were more interested in having fun than learning and going to classes. The students were always wanting to go places and have fun. I would say, “ I need to study.”

There were some who were like me, who loved the experience and were sincere about why they were in Seminary, but for the most part, many did not finish seminary.

I wanted to find a church where I could continue to minister as I did before I came to Seminary. After all, I had for twenty-seven months been a youth director in my dad’s church. I believed I could continue to do this kind of ministry. Thus I approached the pastor of a church (I would mention the church and pastor, but I have enormous respect from him) and asked him if I could work in the church. He said “Charles, I know what you did in your dad’s church, but our policy here at the church is not to use first year students.” Thus, I was to sit and listen and learn about ministry. And that was the environment that I found myself in for the next several years. I went back in the summer to Danville, Va, and worked as a youth director in a church that had over 900 in attendance, but when I went back to Arlington, I could not work in a church. This I could never fully understand. I enjoyed students on campus, and I really had a good time. I am not sure I ever understood the spirit of ministry in these churches, I felt that I didn’t have the hearts of the professors.

The spirit of the campus was always difficult. When I arrived on campus, there was a fighting spirit. Theology was the issue between students. There was a poor spirit between the president of the college and the mission director. There was a difference of opinion between professors. There was a spirit of ill feelings between preachers in the fellowship. There seemed to be always something to fight or disagree about. What I always found strange was how the professors would always choose the next up and coming “Billy Graham” to speak, or to take a position in their church. Only fact was several months later they would quit school. I never quite understood that the professors would not use me. I thought that if you really loved the Lord, desired to learn the Word, that they would be so happy to help you advance in the ministry. That never happened.

What is it about some Independent Baptist preachers that they can’t seem to work well with another preacher in their church? Here I believe I have come upon the reason why fundamentalism has destroyed a lot of churches and preachers.

These churches and preachers believe in soul winning, believe in preaching to reach the lost, they believe in getting the lost in the church, they believe in missions, they believe in preaching the Gospel, they believe in separation from the world. That part of their ministry is not what is so bad. This is a true fundamental Bible believing independent church.

The climate in the 60's and 70's might have been different than today’s climate for ministry. Yet you walk into many of the IFB churches, and you are in the 60's and 70's. The way ministry was done in the 60's and 70's is still the main focus today.

So what is the problem with Fundamentalism today? Why do we think the J. Frank Norris’s influence is outdated today? The Jack Hyles’s influence!! The Lee Roberson’s influence! The Earl K. Oldham’s influence!
Posted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof checked by Charity Whisnant
RECOVERING NORRIS, HYLES,RICE, SBC FUNDAMENTALIST

This weekend my son Eric and his wife Leslie were visiting us for a few days. And on Sunday we attended the 39th Annervisary of Victory Baptist Church in West Portsmouth. My father-in- law organized the church. The church has had five preachers over its history. Bob Temple founded the church in 1967 after he graduated from Bible Baptist Seminary in Arlington, Texas, in 1966. I mention this because in 1966 I arrived as a freshmen of Bible Baptist Seminary. He was leaving in

May, and I came in August. So both of us have a World Baptist Fellowship background, which is influenced still today by Dr. J. Frank Norris. As a foot note, I married his daughter Charity in 1969, and was his associate pastor for fourteen months. Bob is a KJV, independent, fundamental, soul winning, Bible preaching preacher. He still loves the Lord at the age of 74, even though you would think he is in his 60's. A further footnote, the church is still pastored by a fundamentalist Hyles’s-style pastor, with soul winning, bus ministry, and great eating fellowship, and KJV preaching.

Over the past several months while visiting the blogshere I have discovered several Fundamentalist blogs that have addressed the Norris-ite kind of fundamentalism. They address their concern about the manner in which fundamentalists conduct ministry. (Independent Baptists which I would think would include those in the WBF, BBF, IBFI, those of the Hyles Group, and the Falwell group well as the Southwide group, the John R. Rice group. I would also put in here the GARB group (even though they are not of the Norris group), I will throw in some Southern Baptist groups as well because they have the same idea., and I am sure a lot of other Baptist who would say they are independent Baptist. Since I have attended all of these groups over the last forty years, I do know something of their points of view.

I have been on the staff of these fundamental churches, be it WBF, GARB, BBF, or SBC and attended their schools and gone to their Soul Winning Conferences, so I have been rather indoctrinated into their form of thinking over the last forty years. I have learned the John R. Rice point of view, read his hundreds of books and pamphlets, as well as attended the Jack Hyles Pastor’s School. I have heard them preach and talked to them personally, so I will say, I know them and their points of view. I loved Oliver B. Greene and Lester Roloff, how that’s for a firm foundation for Christian service. Was I scarred for life knowing these men?

So I should be a recovering Independent Fundamentalist, Norrisite, Hylesite, Riceite. These were men who had a love for the Lord and the Word and a desire to see lost people come to Christ. How could that be wrong to have such love for the Lord and ministry? What did J.Frank Norris, teach that so influenced the thinking of those who sat under him? While he died in 1954, his influence was strong in 1966 when I started seminary, and even today he has a strong influence. Jack Hyles was in control in 1979 when I attended Hyles-Anderson, and while he died in 2001 yet he still liveth in 2006.

If you look at my first post, and view the churches that I have been on the church staff, or have attended their churches, all of them have had their training at one of these schools in which one of these men have had their influence. You will note the length of ministry was about fourteen months in many of these churches.

So if these churches and pastors love the Lord, love to see lost people saved and baptized, love kids and people that need to be in church, love to preach from the KJV, love to teach separation from the world, why do some think we need to go to an Independent Fundamental Detoxification Center? A recovering fundamentalist!

How is it wrong having a preacher who is preaching from the 1611 KJV, and the Gospel is still being presented, having a Bus Ministry, still singing from the hymn book, still having Just As I Am as the invitation song, still having a choir with no drums, still having soul winning visitation, the pastor still wears a suit when he preaches, most of the women still wear a dress, and the men in leadership still wear a shirt and tie, and still have missionaries come to the church. What is the matter with that?

Our next post will address this idea.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof-read Charity
WHAT DOES EPHESIANS 2:1-10 REALLY TEACH?...............

Preachers who think that the KJV is the real Bible, are reluctant to change the words of the KJV when speaking about the verses. Example: Ephesians 2:1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in your trespasses and sins;” They of course read the verse, but then when explaining this verse, will not say anything other than “quickened.” What would be a shock to their thinking would be to learn that “quickened” is not in the original Greek. Here is the verse: “and you being dead in the offenses and the sins:” What happened to “hath he quickened” which they say proves other translations are not the Word of God.

Paul began by reminding believers of their wretched condition before God performed the miracle of redemption. “Were dead” comes from a combination of a participle and an adjective, so it literally means”being dead” and refers to spiritual death, which is the state of separation from God.

These first ten verses in this chapter are among the most evangelistic in the Scriptures, explaining beautifully the actual steps which occur in salvation. Paul began by reminding believers of their miserable position before God accomplished the miracle of redemption.

If you understand these verses correctly, you just might get the actual steps which occur in salvation! In theological terms, it’s called “the order of salvation” or to impress you “ordo satutis” in Latin. This is the biblical doctrine that deals with the logical sequencing of the benefits of Salvation worked by Christ which are applied to us by the Spirit. This doctrine is dealing with the order in which redemption (saving grace) is applied to the believer through a series of acts or defines the order of decrees by God in the redemptive process. Berkhof said this: “the process by which the work of salvation wrought in Christ, is subjectively realized in the hearts and lives of sinners.” There is a process that God uses in bringing about salvation to sinners.

There are two perspectives of God’s order in carrying out His redemptive work.

1A election, predestination, gospel call, inward call, regeneration, conversion (faith & repentance) and justification, sanctification, and glorification. (Romans 8:29-30)
or

2A outward call, faith/election, repentance, regeneration, justification, perseverance, glorification.

So these verses in Ephesians 2 will help you know which order God uses in bringing about the spiritual change that is wrought in the heart of man. You will believe that man has the ability, or moral capacity to receive or reject the gospel of his own power, or you will believe man does not have the power to receive the gospel on his own because he is “spiritual dead” and unable to respond until God gives him life. To say it another way: “Is the saving grace of God irresistible or resistible? Moreover, is the regenerating power of God installed in the believers’s life before or after the decision is made to receive Christ as Savior?”

The shock to my system was to hear for the first time, “regeneration precedes faith.” I had always thought that in order to be saved, we first had to believe in Christ in order to be born again. We are talking in this post about “the order or steps that must be taken in one’s salvation.” Actually it’s how we understand Ephesians 2. I had always thought that I could with a little faith be able within my heart to respond to the Gospel on my own. If I believed by faith that Jesus would save me, it would be possible to cause God to save me.

Then Ephesians 2 came along. “And you who were (spiritually) dead in your sins were made alive in our souls to spiritual life. This I came to learn meant, we were born again first, and then we responded by faith to the inward call of God. Which is what Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Unless a man is born again first, he cannot possibly see or enter the kingdom of God. “

This is why I think we should carefully “teach” the Scriptures word by word, verse by verse in its context rather than just preach our thoughts.

It’s okay I believe to even explain the KJV. As a matter of fact, I like teaching from the KJV because it takes me much longer to explain the meaning of text correctly.

Preaching seems to mean, ‘here is my thoughts’ , to teach means ‘here is what the verses really is teaching us theologically.’

Postscript: Charity is proof reading this post
THE BASEBALL STORY AT AN AUCTION WITH CHAD.

For years I had used Saturdays to finish up the messages for Sunday. Charity was always trying to get me to take Saturday off and be with the family. I always seemed to say I was busy.

For some reason on that nice summer day I had read in the newspaper there was an auction. Now if you live in Kansas, you learn about auctions. Cattle auctions, etc. Well I had never been to one except the time Don Songer took me to a cattle auction. Don said “Don’t move, or they will think you are buying one of those cattle.” I was lucky to get out of there without buying a large cow.

In 1996 I heard that this auction had baseball cards to sell. We were just getting into collecting baseball and basketball cards with Eric, Chad and Kyle. I wanted something we could do together. I did not fish, even though there was a great place to fish at the dam at the end of our block where we lived. I must have been the only man in Altoona who did not fish. And I didn’t hunt. “You don’t hunt!” That was a mark against me in Altoona, too. Duck, deer, quail, rabbit, moose, pheasant..

I didn’t even know how to shoot a gun which was also bad for me in Altoona. Don Songer allowed me to shoot a shotgun on my 40th birthday. Once I might add. Then Kurt Nunnenkamp opened up a hunting guide place and has been very successful, I might add. But I didn’t have the nerve to try hunting.

So I thought, how about collecting baseball and basketball cards with the boys. Back to the auction. We read that about 50 miles from Altoona there was this auction. I mentioned to Charity that I would like to go and take Chad. She almost fainted to think that I would be willing to travel on Saturday to an auction. So we got in the car and went to this big barn filled with stuff for auction. We never had been to one like this one. I was given a card to show if I were to buy something. Looking at all the stuff, we came across the sports section and, would you believe, they had shoe boxes of old baseball cards. As I viewed the baseball cards I became quite excited at what I saw. When the bidding was held, I bid $17. I held up my card, you know, and wiggled my nose. The auctioneer said,”How many?” I thought, all of them, but I took four boxes at a total of $17.

On the way home, I was driving and Chad was looking at the cards and so was I. We got so excited at what we found, I had to pull over and let Charity drive the rest of the way back to Altoona. Would you believe we discovered several Cal Ripkin, Jr. rookie cards, Eddie Murry’s rookie card, several Willie Mays’s old cards, several Pete Rose’s old cards,.plus about 2500 other good baseball cards from the 1960's & 70's, & 80's. What a jackpot of great baseball cards!

I wish I had taken more time years earlier with Chad and the boys, but I am glad to report that Chad today is doing well in life. He is a fine young man and is managing a hotel in Lexington, Kentucky.

This is a true story. Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof read by Charity, Experience by Chad Whisnant












I
PREACHING THE TEXT IS GOD’S METHOD

In July I preached in Altoona, Kansas, at the First Baptist Church. It’s always nice to be back in the church where you had the joy of sixteen + years of preaching the Word. I was glad to be invited back to preach. It’s been ten years since I resigned from pastoring the church. The best part of being back was seeing the spiritual growth of the members. Like Paul said of Timothy, “They are my spiritual children.” To see their growth in the knowledge of the Word of God and their love for the church is such a gratifying joy.

Ministry is much like raising your children You pray that your parenting will produce some good adults. And the goal of ministry in a church is to see how God is going to produce for Himself as Ephesians 4:14 “henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” And they will be “unto God a perfect man, unto the measure of the statue of the fulness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13. You want two things from your children in ministry as well as your own children. First they will “grow up” to be wonderful adults and secondly “will not be disposed of by the world’s craftiness.”

I remember preaching when at FBC, “How To Get Your Christianity Functioning.” (Ephesians 4:l6-20) The objective is to see believers have the internal power (v. 20) the inner strength (vs 16) the indwelling Christ (vs. 17) and the infinite fullness (vs. 19) and an incomprehensible love (vs. 18) for the Lord and the church. So that you continue to observe that fresh continuing love for the Lord Jesus Christ. When Charity and I were back in the church, we saw such character in
the lives of those believers and in their children.

What is the discipline whereby the Lord has designed to accomplish a “perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ?.” (Ephesians 4:12) I believe it’s the razor-cut teaching of the Word of God.. I came believe that teaching “the doctrines of the Bible” is by far the best method of teaching.

I hear the opposite view from many preachers. I heard this “don’t put your best cookies on the top shelf.” (Whatever that meant). The view illustrates that I have heard most of my life--when you preach, keep it so simple that the third grade child can understand your message. Their minds can’t take more than a twenty minute sermon and keep the theology out of the message. This is why I believe many preachers choose to leave the Bible Text and vacillate (hedge) off into story land.

Mrs. Fail would say, “Pastor, coming here each week is like going to Bible College.” And some of the messages were like going to seminary I must say. Bernice Fail was 80 years old, not eight years old.

Many of the people who came into FBC were folks who did not have a lot of Biblical training. Many were saved at FBC, and their training came from the ministry of FBC. Most of them started off with a course in the “Fundamentals of the Christian Faith.” This course was to be a thirteen week course, but ended up a year’s course. We started off new believers with lessons packed with theological training in the Word of God. We would meet in Kay’s, or Alana’s, or Christy’s home and have a great time studying the Word of God. Today those who came are still active in the Lord’s work.

I did not think I needed to vary off the text very much. Just the opposite, stay on the text and teach each word. I think Eric my son said, “Dad you teach what the periods mean, and what the white space between the verses mean.” Well almost, but each word was addressed as to what they meant within the verse, within the chapter, with in the Book. How could any preacher preach a sermon on any given word, or verse in less than fifty minutes. Uh! Right, Beverly! If you give the historical background, the context background, the grammatical usage of the word, the theological teaching of the word(s) For example: Eph 5:18 word “filled with the Spirit..” (pim i.e. a present imperative, i.e. a command which involves continuous or repeat action). Which means we are to be continuously being filled with the Spirit. You are likely, long after someone is saved, to have the believers continue to be “filled up” with the spiritual psalms, hymn, and songs in our hearts. .

Now, my preachers friends will say, “Charles, you are simply trying to show off your knowledge.” “:Keep your cookies off the top shelf when you are preaching.” If I have heard that idea once, I hear it at every preachers’ meeting I go to.. It seems today, that is the point of view in the post-modern world we live in. Sermons are short, full of stories, little mention of Christ, and certainly keeping your best stuff on the bottom shelf.

Well I will take the critical remarks about my sermons, as long as I see the Lord produce such folks as those who have been or are now members of First Baptist Church in Altoona, Kansas.
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WHY IS PREACHING THE TEXT IMPORTANT?

Now you might ask, “Why is it important that we preach the Word of God as God intended us to preach it?” And “How do you know how we are to preach the Word of God?”

Personally I haven’t met any preacher (who I know personally) who does not believe he is preaching the Word of God, especially if it’s from the KJV Bible.

When I went to Bible Baptist Seminary, (Bible....Baptist) we were taught the Bible, Genesis to Revelation. So to know the Bible was very important, to know what the Word of God said was very consequential. Almost every class was to teach us the Bible verse by verse. There were no better teachers than Earl K. Oldham, Wayne Martin, George Norris, Raymond Barber, Bob Cunningham. I departed the Seminary presuming I was fully ready to preach the Bible and to be a Fundamental Baptist preacher and pastor. After all, the biggest churches in America at the time were pastored by preachers who were educated at the Bible Baptist Seminary under Dr. J. Frank Norris.

I am getting off the subject: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PREACH THE WORD OF GOD? WHY SHOULD WE KEEP WITH THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE WHEN WE ARE PREACHING?

IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY THAT WE KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD, AND UNDERSTAND HIS WORDS AS HE HAS INTENDED THEM TO BE UNDERSTOOD.

WHY!!!!!! While there is a general revelation of God that men and women know God at some level of awareness because of God’s revealing work both within them and in His creation and thoughtful care, general revelation is not adequate to give them the information of God that is imperative for salvation.

I have come to believe the single most important reason why we shouldn’t get disconnected with the text of scripture is that it might lead us away from the God foreordained way of the salvation of mankind.

From the fundamental, independent, Baptist point of view, it seems the purpose of preaching is that people are brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and learn to know Him and live for Him.

The single most important doctrine that we need to have the truth about is how does a person come to know Jesus Christ as Saviour? In this post modern world in which we live, that truth is buried. What is “truth” is in question.

Ask the nearest IBF preacher to describe to you the way of salvation and how he gives an invitation for someone to be “born again.” Or for that matter any preacher who claims to be speaking from the Word of God! An absolute understanding of the Bible text concerning the “What Must I Do To Be Saved” is the difference between Heaven and Hell.
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SERMON TEXT DISLOCATION SYNDROME

Fundamentalists love preaching. Most love it hot and heavy. We enjoy getting our toes stomped and our hearts tugged. We thrive on a sin-naming, righteousness-exalting, hell fire-& brimstone, Bibl-packed preaching from the 1611 KJV.

Let me just say, I understand there are many pulpits that have not undergone a dislocation from the text to the sermon.

I cannot go to an Independent, Fundamental, Baptist, Fellowship meeting and not have this kind of feeling from the meeting. These godly preachers say they preach from the 1611 KJV, but in reality have most likely never seen one. Then they take a text and when they read the text and the sermon begins they somehow get disconnected from the text. I often say, the text they just read has nothing to do with what they are saying. Of course, that is the whole point. They are not preaching the text-- they are shooting from the hip. What they are saying in the sermon is not necessarily “unbiblical”, it’s just that what the preacher is saying is not what the text is saying

What I am learning, {Growing By Learning} is that we are critical of Billy Graham’s preaching, or Joel Osteen’s method of preaching, and we don’t like Rick Warren’s style and a host of other preachers, while a host of WBF/BBF/IBF,etc. do the same things. What do you mean? Both groups start with a text and read into the text what THEY want the text to say.

Often what they are saying is true, good stuff, but it's just that they did not get it from the text they have just read. Well, they might take a statement from the text and try to make it say what they are saying. It happens a lot. The danger here is, if you can make a text say things they do not say, then you can as easily make the passage say things the Bible doesn’t say.

One blogger called this the Pulpit Injuries: Severe Sermon Text Dislocations. I could not have said it better, and I have been saying this point for years.

For years I suffered from sermon text dislocation. I didn't know you could preach a sermon and use the passage of scripture as a starting point and stay with the meaning of the text. One such sermon I used, and what a surprise to learn that the "streets" mentioned in Proverbs 26:13 ¶ The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. I used "streets" in three ways, Street of Sin, the street of salvation, the street of service, etc. Well, it was a good loud sermon, but not within the text I was preaching. I was really good at spiritualizing the Old Testament stories. But often I would stray from the meaning of the text. It’s no wonder that the people in our churches have no real idea what the Bible really is teaching.

What I have discovered from hearing these preachers preaching is they say they are preaching the Bible, but they mean that what they are saying is in there somewhere. And that the only Bible is the KJV 1611. Preaching, to most of these godly men that I know, is not supposed to be teaching. I was asked to preach at a WBF Ohio meeting some time ago, (my last time to be asked) and I preached from Ephesians 4:1-6. I followed the expositional view of preaching. I remember now that I heard no amens. After I finished, one of my good preacher friends said, “Charles, that was a great teaching lesson, but that was not good preaching.”

I was invited to preach in a church that my mother went to in Danville, Virginia. I must have preached one of Spurgeon’s sermons, followed the flow of the text, and the people just looked at me funny. After the service my mother said, “Charles, they have not heard a Bible text sermon ever in this church. They were totally lost in your message.”

So when did I come to realize that you needed an adjustment to get the sermon and text in alignment? That is for another post.
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CAN YOU WORSHIP WITHOUT BEING IN MINISTRY: Part Two

The symbiosis of theology and worship.{The state of cooperative relationship between two} in this case: theology and worship. Learning to live the connection between doing theology and worshiping God. “The purpose of theology and worship alike is to cultivate the vision of who God is and what God has done, and to cultivate it so well that, when we perceive it, it stops us in our tracks and evokes our praise.” “Worship also requires the right subjective attitude “spirit.” The truth of who God is and what God has done for us engages not merely our minds, but our whole being, or “spirit”: not only our mind, but hearts, hands, and imaginations too.”

The Lord is as “fresh” to me now as ever.

This is correct for sure. I am disheartened about the pastorate ministry. While this description is correct, it’s not to the extent of being discouraged with God, or even in worshiping the Lord. While ministry is meaningful to me, it’s also the fountain from which flows discouragement. While ministry has been the source of outward joy, and sometimes the source of discouragement, it has never swayed me away from my love for the Lord.

I am told that 50% of pastors who have been dismissed from their pastorate quit the ministry altogether. I get discouraged because I am not in pastoral ministry. I still think there is another year left in me. If I could come to the decision that I am washed up, preached the last sermon, worked on my last church staff, then finally retired from official ministry, then maybe I could get down to just worship. Or just doing church on Sundays.

Having spent the last two years in extended study of the Word, reading Spurgeon, MacArthur, Edwards, Calvin, Owen, Piper, Mohler, Alexandra, Philpot and Keller, Samson, P. Johnson, Ryle, Hendryx Pritchard, and others, my well is running over. Each day as I am in the Word reading the letters of Paul and Peter and Matthew is a real joy, it’s never left my desire to continue to read and study. I continue to love to hear the Word preached, be it preaching in a local church or on TV or Radio. I continue to love to talk to the Lord as I walk on US Route 23, and see His beautiful sky and clouds. I can hardly wait to get on the Internet and log on to monergism.com to see what is new. I just get overjoyed with downloading last week’s Piper’s sermon, or one of Spurgeon’s Sermon. Or to see what Piper has preached last Sunday, and of course what MacArthur is preaching. I love to download the latest sermon, or the debate that is going on at TMS site. “Why Would John MacArthur be so hard-hitting on the Emergent Movement.” Or the debate over “Free Grace” over at the Faith and Practice Blog. Or the debate over “Continuationist or Cessationsim!”
Then lately it’s reading Sinclair Ferguson on “A Preacher’s Decalogue” and CJ Mahaney on “A Passion for Reading and Learning.” and Derek Thomas on “Preaching from the O.T.. And of course the debate over Dispensational Approaches and Preterism. Or even the debate over the Lord’s Supper? Or Baptism Membership? Then two books by Charles Spurgeon-- “Spurgeon on Leadership” and “Spurgeon and Son”. Those two books are very good.

So what is the Biblical Theological answer for this situation? What should be the right response to this seeming dilemma or situation. Knowing the answer, then how can we get into the right spirit or attitude or action to comply with the right response.

Well, it could be in the total providence of God, and He is in full control of this situation.

So why this time, after 40 years do I even think negatively about the situation? Because of the pressure of what family and people think about this situation. Otherwise I am willing to ride it out and give it all to the Lord.

God Bless, God is never the problem. If you are not presently in ministry as a pastor or on staff, try get into a presonall fellowship with Him.
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CAN YOU WORSHIP WITHOUT BEING IN MINISTRY: Part One

Well this is going to be an honest post about what happens when you have been
fired from a ministry, or you feel forced out of a ministry, or you do not get the
position you applied for. I read about too many ministers who have just the same
experiences and are very discouraged about ministry. Let me tell you, God will
work it out.

Charles,
What does discouragement with ministry have to do with God's right to be worshipped? Or is ministry your only reason for going to worship? Just a question or two to ponder ... God
bless.
____________

My Reply:
What God wants to use as a blessing and growth, Satan will use the same situation as a discouragement and defeat.

I am discouraged with not doing ministry. I am discouraged with leadership of churches that do not see that I can do ministry. And as a result I am discouraged with the thought of trying to go to another church and experience.. Because it does seem that ministry plays a big role in being able to truly worship the Lord in the church setting. Can I worship in a church where I have had no prior connection. Yes.

Can you worship in a church where you have been told you cannot minister or have a ministry? Can a wife experience love of her husband when he is a not a loving husband to her?

Personally I have been in two churches the last several years and other than the first Sunday, have felt resented or misunderstood as to motive or something, of most things I have said or tried to do, by the leadership. Charity and I have felt the warmth of the regular members of the church very deeply. But I am too fleshly and sinful to set aside the disapproval of what I say and do, and enter into a truly worship attitude. We personally love to visit with the folks, we love to mix with the folks, it’s great. Which is a part of worship too. It’s not so hard to worship the Lord even in jail, but it’s not pleasant either.. When you know you have been rejected to do ministry, it’s hard to ignore.. I would also say that pride is a factor. When folks know you have been rejected or that you have not found a church to pastor you sense failure. You would think after so many years in ministry that you would be mature enough to handle all the situations that you are put in. That you would be able to throw off all the situations that come into your life.

Until now, we were able to throw off getting fired, and move on and get another job or ministry with little problems. This has been the first time that we have felt the pressure of not being able to get another ministry or even a secular job. In every case from 1966 thru 2003 we were able to leave a job and get another job in only a few months. I have never been without ministry or secular job for more than a few months, never. Charity and I would move to the next town and either get a secular job and then wait on the Lord for the next ministry. And each time we would have a job or two, and then a ministry would open up. But moving to Portsmouth, we have experienced something different. We had a job when we moved here, secular and ministry, lost the ministry, and quit the job. But this time Charity had a job and we didn’t want to move. So we thought that we could get another job or ministry. I have been unable to secure a job or ministry now for over two years. We have applied for several church positions which we have not received. But now after two years, it’s beginning to work on me. What Christ is doing in my life for His glory and what Satan is doing for his purpose cause both spiritual and human reaction. So how can we work through this?

The question is can you worship the Lord without doing ministry? Can you worship the Lord in church where you are discouraged about the ministry of the church? Is the local church only a place you come to sit and experience what is happening on stage? How would you describe worship in a local church? Would you say worship is experienced by most of the people who are in the church service on Sunday morning? “When I left church this morning, I felt that I had truly entered into worship of the Lord.” Do most members just go to church? Ministry does not necessarily lead to worship of God. You can be so busy doing ministry that you do not have time to experience the “spirit” of worship.

Part Two Tuesday
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MY CHARLES SPURGEON’S STORY

I have noticed many of the bloggers are posting Charles Spurgeon’s quotes on Saturday or Sunday,and some even post his sermons over a week or two. I believe this to be a great idea for sure. I remember my dad had a library full of Spurgeon’s Sermons. (I might add, Dad had Spurgeon’s Original 1858 sermon books) When he asked me to be the teacher of the Young People’s Sunday School Class when I was sixteen, I taught the book of Psalms and I read Spurgeon’s Treasury of David’s Series on Psalms. Then I was asked to preach in one of my dad’s friend’s church in North Carolina. Well, having read so much of Spurgeon, I thought that it would be a great idea to use one of Spurgeon’s Sermons. I didn’t know any better, nor did I know how to preach in the first place. I didn’t know Baptist preachers in Virginia and North Carolina didn’t know how to preach then either. They just preached loud, took a verse in the Bible and for the next thirty minutes chased a rabbit, got him cornered and almost killed him by stomping the pulpit, and running all over the auditorium, while at the same time the preacher would have that “mike sound”. You know-- at the end of every sentence, you got that Uh sound. I never liked that, so I thought I would preach one of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Well, after about an hour, I got the word to quit preaching. They said, “Where in the world did you learn to preach like that? That’s not preaching is it?” Spurgeon was not welcome in that church.

Would a Charles Spurgeon sermon be welcome to be preached in your church Sunday?
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GOD'S DIVINE CALL TO MINISTRY

Jer 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

“No man is to be counted a lawful pastor of the Church...save he which is called of God.” Calvin

“True pastors, do not rashly thrust themselves forward by their own judgment, but are raised up by the Lord.” Calvin. { Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;}

The question then is:
“What, however, is the divine call, which alone makes a true minister?”
“How shall I know whether or not God has called me?”

“Does God’s call entails some kind of sensational and spectacular experience - - that God will appear by vision or audible voice.” Well in my case, I did not have any kind of extravagant experience, nor did I hear a discernible voice from the Lord, and I did not see any visions.
( Jer 23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.)

In those early years, nine and ten years old, Don and I would go to the church, which was next door. I would be Billy Graham, and he would lead singing. Don would listen to me preach like dad, and he would get saved. The next day, we would change the roles. As I look back, the Lord was putting in our hearts at that age the call to preach.

THE NATURE OF GOD'S INWARD CALL.
I knew when I was in the 8th grade of school I had the desire to preach. I believe my father saw that desire in me to teach and preach. He asked me to take a Sunday School class and teach the young people when I was in the 10th grade. I fell in love with studying and reading the Bible. Dad had a large library of biblical books, and I was ready to read them to learn. I did a study of Galatians, ( I still have those notes today} with some depth, I might add, for a sixteen year old. I would spend hours studying and writing for my Bible lessons. The next twenty-seven months were the best times of my young life, and I am not sure, the best time of all my life. I remember going to the Baptist Tabernacle in Danville, Va. (R.J. arber pastor) to hear Dr. Mar teach the Word, over a period of a year in special classes. Early in this process I knew the knowledge of the Word of God was very important to comprehend. Learning the Word was such a priority that I could not give myself to playing sports that I also loved. When someone would come to dad’s church to preach, I couldn’t wait to get there to hear them. Dad always had the radio on for us to listen too. M.R. DeHaan, Oliver B Greene. Charles Fuller, and others.

Calvin believed (I am sure many other good men believe also) that if God called inwardly that He would provide that man with the necessary gifts to accomplish God’s calling to preach. “Those whom Christ calls to the pastoral office He likewise adorns with the necessary gifts, that they may be qualified for discharging the office.” John Calvin. {John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:}

In those early years, I did not stop to question God’s call upon my life, or how I would know if it were real or not. As I look back I can see that the desire was there, the love was there, and the gifts were there, and the results were there. I had the deepest desire to teach God’s truth to those who would listen. I was not interested in my fame, I was interested in getting young people to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. My own sense of God’s call to the ministry only came years later, the self-awareness that I have been gifted by God to teach and that others responded to my teaching.

THE NATURE OF THE EXTERNAL CALL.
Calvin also believed if God has called one into the ministry, that others would see that also. Well, my dad saw that in me. “Charles, I think you are well qualified to teach in our church.”. I was asked often to preach at the Youth Rally in Virginia and North Carolina. Then following my dad’s death, Rev Gene Arnold, pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church, in Roanoke Virginia asked me to preach for him, and preach on the radio and teach some in Sunday School. Bro. Gene and the church saw the ability and supported me financially while I was in Bible College. Thanks Bro. Gene,who is still preaching today. God bless you.

Too often I have seen those who get caught up in the “glory” of the call of God, while they are unlearned and utterly ignorant of the Word of God which they are called to preach. The zeal is in the “glory” rather than in the zeal to engage in the biblical study and teaching.

It is said of John Calvin that “interested individuals gravitate toward him, that they would often call to consult him and were greatly struck both with his learning and his zeal, which was a gift that God had given him.

Only as I look backward and reflect on this subject of the “call of God for ministry” that I realize that I always had an audience around me listening to me teach, or talk. People have always recognized that call upon my life to preach and teach and a zeal to know the Lord, and a love for people to know the Lord.

I have struggled with this “call of God upon my life” over the last few years. The first thirty years were without any questions. Only in the last year or so have I really questioned , “Have I mistaken the call of God, or has God recalled His call?

So I have been inquiring about this subject of the “Call of God.” I asked John Hendyryx over that monergism.com for some helpful articles on this subject, and he graciously replied
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